ENGLISH WIDENS OUR CHANCES
ENGLISH IS EXCITING, MOREOVER IF IT IS PRACTISED DAILY. IT CAN CHANGE YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SOCIAL STATUS. FURTHERMORE ENGLISH ALSO WIDENS OUR CHANCES IN A LOT OF FIELDS. HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES.
When I was a second year student of a university, I took the philosophy department. That's why I enjoy reading books on philosophy. Unfortunately, as such books are rare in our surroundings. I got difficulties to find ones. I was lucky enough, however, to have pen pals in Sweden and England who happened to stay at my boarding house when they visited me in Pekanbaru. They sent me a lot of books without any charges. From one of my pen pals in Stockholm (Sweden), Leiff Asplund, I received some books about philosophy. Altogether, they nearly reached Rp 275,000 per month. My capital only English and friendship.
From England I received some guidance books to study English from Oxford University Press and Unwin Paperback until 1992. Then they sent me some books to help my English Course survive. In other words, I got a lot of help from my English to complete my study at the university.
Lately some students from my English course got nice jobs in foreign (or joint venture) companies. They only have good skills in English and communication, especially how to approach a new person. One of the students is Ali (pseudonym) who studied English there. After he studied English for about 6 months, he was very fortunate to meet an American named Bill Morris (pseudonym) who happened to be one of the staffs at the Trlpatra (a contractor of Caltex). Then he risked himself by applying for a job at an oil company in Duri (Riau), and he got it. So he worked with the company because of his competence in English, especially oral communication.
There is another story about my ex-student named Deddy (pseudonym). When studying at my English course, once he happened to be my receptionist. He studied there for about one and a half years. He seemed to have a good zeal to study English. I told him to learn how to speak English fluently, and he was successful. Later he tried to find a job at Batam island. Just in a week after his arrival there he got a nice job at a company operating in heavy machines. Then the company sent him to the head office in Bandung. Now he lives and works there. How lucky he is. Just recently he told me that his success in finding a good job came from his English mastery.
What kinds of English can widen our chances? From the above examples we can conclude, English will be of much help if we have good skills in both writing and speaking most important is the skill in oral communication. As a matter of fact, there are students of English (even teachers or lecturers) who claim to have good knowledge of English (grammar) but they can neither write nor speak fluently. Some can speak fairly fluent, but they lack skills in writing. You possibly understand this plain writing (or even all articles in English books, magazines and newspapers), yet there is no guarantee that you can express your ideas in English. So, why don't you try to practice the oral communication then?
In conclusion, how much benefit you get from your English will depend widely on how good you can speak and write. If you have fairly good skills in oral as well as written communication, you will have the chances to work at companies with an excellent pay. So, the chance is widely open if we have the principle, "We will learn not only how to write English but to speak it as well."
By Arifin S